Thomas E. Holland
Feb. 18, 1955-Nov. 9, 2012
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After a year-and-a-half battle with brain cancer, Tom Holland quietly passed away in Zarautz, Spain, early Friday morning.
Born in Palo Alto, California, to Sally Bubb Holland and Harry A. Holland, Jr., Tom was blessed to live a privileged life. He grew up in Portola Valley, attended Portola Valley elementary schools, Woodside High School, Cañada Junior College, and the University of Texas at Austin some 20 years later (B.A. in English, 1995; Secondary English Teaching Credential, 1996). In 2002, he earned an M.A. in Educational Linguistics from Stanford University. He loved to boast that he was the “oldest and thickest” student in his university classes.
Tom spent over 20 years in the hospitality industry as a restaurant server and manager, the last eight in fine dining with the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons chains. His most cherished review was "Tom demonstrates impeccable service and an infectious smile."
He then relished nearly 20 years in the classroom as a teacher at various high schools in Texas, Massachusetts, and Spain, before ending at the Centro de Linguas, University of A Coruña in Galicia, Spain, where he was happiest.
He is survived by his brothers and their spouses -- Harry, John and Charlotte, Bob and Kelly -- as well as by aunts, cousins, and extended families in Brazil, France, and Spain. His smartest decision ever was marrying María Eizaguirre Altuna in January 1995, accruing over 20 years together since they met in 1991 -- both instantly smitten and endlessly devoted. As the last of ten siblings, María and her wonderful, close-knit family provided 20 nieces and nephews (and, so far, six of the grand generation). The flock ensured that life was never dull. Tom ever opined, "Only boring people get bored." He never was.